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Securities Investor Protection: Update on Matters Related to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As result of ongoing concerns about the adequacy of disclosures provided to investors about the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and investors' responsibilities to protect their investments, GAO issued a report in 2001 entitled Securities Investor Protection: Steps Needed to Better Disclose SIPC Policies to Investors (GAO-01-653). GAO was asked to determine the status of recommendations made to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and SIPC in that report. GAO was also asked to review a number of issues involving excess SIPC insurance, private insurance securities firms purchase to cover accounts that are in excess of SIPC's statutory limits."
Date: July 11, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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SEC and CFTC Fines Follow-Up: Collection Programs Are Improving, but Further Steps Are Warranted

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Collecting fines ordered for violations of securities and futures laws helps ensure that violators are held accountable for their offenses and may also deter future violations. The requesters asked GAO to evaluate the actions the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have taken to address earlier recommendations for improving their collection programs. The committees also asked GAO to update the fines collection rates from previous reports."
Date: July 15, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Spent Nuclear Fuel: Options Exist to Further Enhance Security

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Spent nuclear fuel, the used fuel periodically removed from nuclear power reactors, is one of the most hazardous materials made by man. Nuclear power companies currently store 50,000 tons of spent fuel at 72 sites in 33 states. That amount will increase through 2010, when the Department of Energy (DOE) expects to open a permanent repository for this fuel at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Concerns have been raised since September 11, 2001, that terrorists might target spent fuel. GAO was asked to (1) review federally sponsored studies that assessed the potential health effects of a terrorist attack or a severe accident on spent fuel, either in transit or in storage, and (2) identify options for DOE to further enhance the security of spent fuel during shipping to Yucca Mountain."
Date: July 15, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Navy Working Capital Fund: Backlog of Funded Work at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Was Consistently Understated

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has hundreds of millions of dollars of funded work that its working capital fund activities did not complete before the end of the fiscal year. Reducing the amount of workload carryover at fiscal year-end is a key factor in the effective management of Department of Defense (DOD) resources and in minimizing the "banking" of funds for work to be performed in subsequent years. GAO was asked to analyze SPAWAR's carryover balances. GAO assessed the accuracy of the budgeted amounts, the accuracy of the reported actual carryover balance, and the reliability of underlying financial data on which reported actual carryover is based."
Date: July 1, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Equal Employment Opportunity: SSA Region X's Changes to Its EEO Process Illustrate Need for Agencywide Procedures

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Employees at the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Region X--which covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington--expressed concern about the Region's equal employment opportunity (EEO) process for employment discrimination complaints. GAO was asked to (1) provide information for fiscal years 1997 through 2001 on the composition of the Region X workforce and for personnel actions such as promotions, awards, and adverse actions by EEO group; (2) describe the EEO complaint process in Region X and any changes to it; (3) assess whether the Region's process is consistent with federal regulations and related guidance; and (4) assess the familiarity with the EEO process of the Region's employees and their attitude toward it."
Date: July 16, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Human Capital: Further Guidance, Assistance, and Coordination Can Improve Federal Telework Efforts

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Telework--work done at a location other than a traditional office--has gained widespread attention over the past decade as a human capital flexibility offering various potential benefits to employers, employees, and society. Using such flexibilities as management tools can help the federal government address its human capital challenges. GAO did this study in response to a congressional request to assess the federal government's progress in implementing telework programs and to determine what else can be done to give federal employees the ability to telework under appropriate circumstances."
Date: July 18, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Joint Strike Fighter Acquisition: Cooperative Program Needs Greater Oversight to Ensure Goals Are Met

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is a cooperative program between the Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. allies for developing and producing next generation fighter aircraft to replace aging inventories. As currently planned, the JSF program is DOD's most expensive aircraft program to date, costing an estimated $200 billion to procure about 2,600 aircraft and related support equipment. Many in DOD consider JSF to be a model for future cooperative programs. To determine the implications of the JSF international program structure, GAO identified JSF program relationships and expected benefits and assessed how DOD is managing cost sharing, technology transfer, and partner expectations for industrial return."
Date: July 21, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and Organizational Transformations

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Comptroller General convened a forum in September 2002 to identify useful practices and lessons learned from major private and public sector mergers, acquisitions, and organizational transformations. This was done to help federal agencies implement successful transformations of their cultures, as well as the new Department of Homeland Security merge its various originating components into a unified department. There was general agreement on a number of key practices found at the center of successful mergers, acquisitions, and transformations. In this report, we identify the specific implementation steps for the key practices raised at the forum with illustrative private and public sector examples. To identify these implementation steps and examples, we relied primarily on interviews with selected forum participants and other experts about their experiences implementing mergers, acquisitions, and transformations and also conducted a literature review."
Date: July 2, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Management: Opportunities to Reduce Corrosion Costs and Increase Readiness

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) maintains equipment and infrastructure worth billions of dollars in many environments where corrosion is causing military assets to deteriorate, shortening their useful life. The resulting increase in required repairs and replacements drives up costs and takes critical systems out of action, reducing mission readiness. GAO was asked to review military activities related to corrosion control. Specifically, this report examines the extent of the impact of corrosion on DOD and the military services and the extent of the effectiveness of DOD's and the services' approach to preventing and mitigating corrosion."
Date: July 7, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Health Care: Oversight of the TRICARE Civilian Provider Network Should Be Improved

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Testifying before Congress in 2002, military beneficiary groups described problems accessing care from TRICARE's civilian medical providers. Providers also testified on their dissatisfaction with the TRICARE program, specifying low reimbursement rates and administrative burdens. The Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act of 2003 required GAO to review the oversight of the TRICARE network of civilian providers. Specifically, GAO describes how the Department of Defense (DOD) oversees the adequacy of the civilian provider network, evaluates DOD's oversight of the civilian provider network, and describes the factors that have been reported to contribute to network inadequacy. GAO analyzed TRICARE Prime--the managed care component of TRICARE. To describe and evaluate DOD's oversight, GAO reviewed and analyzed information from reports on network adequacy and interviewed DOD and contractor officials in 5 of 11 TRICARE regions."
Date: July 31, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Park Service: Agency Needs to Better Manage the Increasing Role of Nonprofit Partners

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Two types of nonprofit organizations, cooperating associations and friends groups, provide substantial support to the national parks. GAO was asked to report on (1) the number of park units supported by nonprofits and the amount of their contributions, (2) the revenue-generating activities of nonprofits and how they compete with park concessioners, (3) factors that contribute to competition between nonprofits and for-profit concessioners, and (4) how park managers are held accountable for meeting goals for nonprofit financial support."
Date: July 18, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Child Welfare: Most States Are Developing Statewide Information Systems, but the Reliability of Child Welfare Data Could Be Improved

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "To better monitor children and families served by state child welfare agencies, Congress authorized matching funds for the development of statewide automated child welfare information systems (SACWIS) and required that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) compile information on the children served by state agencies. This report reviews (1) states' experiences in developing child welfare information systems and HHS's role in assisting in their development, (2) factors that affect the reliability of data that states collect and report on children served by their child welfare agencies and HHS's role in ensuring the reliability of those data, and (3) practices that child welfare agencies use to overcome challenges associated with SACWIS development and data reliability."
Date: July 31, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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VA Health Care: Adequacy of Resident Supervision Is Not Assured, but Plans Could Improve Oversight

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides graduate medical education (GME) to as many as one-third of U.S. resident physicians, but oversight responsibilities spread across VA's organizational components and multiple affiliated hospitals and medical schools could allow supervision problems to go undetected or uncorrected. GAO was asked to examine VA's procedures for (1) monitoring VA medical centers' adherence to VA's requirements for resident supervision, (2) using evaluations of supervision by GME accrediting bodies and residents, and (3) using information about resident supervision drawn from VA's programs for monitoring the quality and outcomes of patient care."
Date: July 2, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Nuclear Weapons: Opportunities Exist to Improve the Budgeting, Cost Accounting, and Management Associated with the Stockpile Life Extension Program

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As a separately organized agency within the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) administers the Stockpile Life Extension Program, whose purpose is to extend, through refurbishment, the operational lives of the weapons in the nuclear stockpile. NNSA encountered significant management problems with its first refurbishment. NNSA has begun three additional life extensions. This study was undertaken to determine the extent to which budgetary, cost accounting, and other management issues that contributed to problems with the first refurbishment have been adequately addressed."
Date: July 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Social Security Reform: Analysis of a Trust Fund Exhaustion Scenario

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Social Security is an important social insurance program affecting virtually every American family. It is the foundation of the nation's retirement income system and also provides millions of Americans with disability insurance and survivors' benefits. Over the long term, as the baby boom generation retires, Social Security's financing shortfall presents a major solvency and sustainability challenge. The Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance asked GAO to use its analytic framework to evaluate an illustrative "Trust Fund Exhaustion" scenario under which benefits are reduced proportionately for all beneficiaries by the shortfall in revenues occurring upon exhaustion of the combined Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds. The analytic framework consists of three basic criteria: (1) the extent to which the proposal achieves sustainable solvency and how it would affect the U.S. economy and the federal budget; (2) the balance struck between the twin goals of income adequacy and individual equity; and (3) how readily changes could be implemented, administered, and explained to the public. The Trust Fund Exhaustion scenario is intended as an analytic tool, not a legal determination."
Date: July 29, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Social Security Disability: Reviews of Beneficiaries' Disability Status Require Continued Attention to Achieve Timeliness and Cost-Effectiveness

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Social Security Administration (SSA) has had difficulty in conducting timely reviews of beneficiaries' cases to ensure they are still eligible for disability benefits. SSA has been taking steps to improve the cost-effectiveness of its review process. SSA has linked the review process to eligibility for a new benefit that provides return-to-work services. This report looks at SSA's ability to stay current with future reviews, identifies potential improvements to the review process, and assesses the review process--return-to-work link."
Date: July 24, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Contract Management: INS Contracting Weaknesses Need Attention from the Department of Homeland Security

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "With annual obligations for goods and services totaling $1.7 billion, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is one of the largest of 23 entities coming into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). INS's procurement organization will continue to acquire goods and services under DHS. GAO was asked to review INS's contracting processes to assess whether INS has an adequate infrastructure to manage its acquisitions and to determine whether INS is following sound contracting policies and procedures in awarding and managing individual contracts."
Date: July 25, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Welfare Reform: Information on Changing Labor Market and State Fiscal Conditions

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "With the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), the Congress made sweeping changes to federal policy for needy families. PRWORA ended the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to states. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oversees the TANF block grant program, which provides grants to states totaling up to $16.5 billion each year and requires states to maintain a historical level of state spending on welfare reform programs. Under TANF, states have greater flexibility and face greater uncertainty than they did under AFDC. States have greater flexibility to design, finance, and implement programs for low-income families, including determining who is to be served and what services to provide. TANF also emphasizes the transitional nature of assistance and the importance of employment for welfare recipients. Because the amount of the TANF block grant is fixed, as caseloads decline--as they did in all states through the late 1990s--states have had additional resources that they have used to expand their programs, achieve some budgetary savings, and create reserves; however, states bear most of their TANF program's fiscal risks if their programs' costs rise as a result of higher caseloads or other factors. Welfare reform was initially implemented in a time of economic growth, when there was a strong demand for labor and the fiscal situation of the states was favorable. More recently, the economy has slowed and welfare reform is being implemented in less favorable economic conditions. To obtain information on welfare reform under changing labor market and fiscal conditions, Congress asked us to determine (1) how labor market conditions have changed in recent years; (2) …
Date: July 15, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Homeland Defense: DOD Needs to Assess the Structure of U.S. Forces for Domestic Military Missions

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The way in which the federal government views the defense of the United States has dramatically changed since September 11, 2001. Consequently, the Department of Defense (DOD) has adjusted its strategic and operational focus to encompass not only traditional military concerns posed by hostile states overseas but also the asymmetric threats directed at our homeland by both terrorists and hostile states. GAO was asked to review DOD's domestic missions, including (1) how DOD's military and nonmilitary missions differ; (2) how DOD's military and nonmilitary missions have changed since September 11, 2001; (3) how the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act affects DOD's nonmilitary missions; and (4) the extent to which DOD's organizations, plans, and forces are adequate for domestic military missions and the consequent sustainability of the current mission approach."
Date: July 11, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Private Pensions: Participants Need Information on Risks They Face in Managing Pension Assets at and during Retirement

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The decisions that retiring workers make about how and when to draw down their pension plan assets determine in part whether they will have pension income that lasts throughout retirement. Individuals will need pension and other retirement income to sustain them over a longer period of time than in the past. Moreover, the continuing trend towards pension plans with individual accounts has increased participants' responsibility for managing their pension assets during retirement. As such, our objectives were to determine: (1) what benefit payout options and accompanying information pension plans make available to participants at retirement, (2) what benefit payouts plan participants receive at retirement, and (3) the actions available to help retiring participants preserve their pension and retirement savings plan assets."
Date: July 29, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Freshwater Supply: States' View of How Federal Agencies Could Help Them Meet the Challenges of Expected Shortages

Description: A chapter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The widespread drought conditions of 2002 focused attention on a critical national challenge: ensuring a sufficient freshwater supply to sustain quality of life and economic growth. States have primary responsibility for managing the allocation and use of water resources, but multiple federal agencies also play a role. For example, Interior's Bureau of Reclamation operates numerous water storage facilities, and the U.S. Geological Survey collects important surface and ground-water information. GAO was asked to determine the current conditions and future trends for U.S. water availability and use, the likelihood of shortages and their potential consequences, and states' views on how federal activities could better support state water management efforts to meet future demands. For this review, GAO conducted a web-based survey of water managers in the 50 states and received responses from 47 states; California, Michigan, and New Mexico did not participate."
Date: July 8, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Professional Boxing: Issues Related to the Protection of Boxers' Health, Safety, and Economic Interests

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 established minimum health and safety standards for professional boxing and provided for limited federal oversight by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. In 2000, the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act amended the act to better protect boxers' economic well-being and enhance the integrity of the sport. However, reports of problems continue, including permanent and sometimes fatal injuries, economic exploitation, and corruption. GAO was asked to (1) identify fundamental elements considered important to protect professional boxers and enhance the integrity of the sport; (2) assess the extent to which provisions of the Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996, as amended (the act), cover these elements and determine whether selected state and tribal boxing commissions have documentation indicating compliance with the act's provisions; (3) determine whether selected states and tribes have provisions that cover additional elements; and (4) identify federal actions taken under the act."
Date: July 21, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: Capacity Planning and Management Oversight Need Improvement

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) provides federal law enforcement training for 75 Partner Organizations (agencies) primarily at four domestic facilities located at Glynco, Ga; Artesia, N. Mex.; Charleston, S.C.; and Cheltenham, Md.. Given the post-terrorist attack security environment, coupled with the increased demand for training, concerns have been raised about FLETC's continued ability to meet this training demand. Because of these concerns, GAO was asked to issue a report on (1) how FLETC plans to meet the projected demand for training; (2) FLETC's ability to efficiently coordinate and schedule training activities; and (3) whether oversight and governance structures provide the guidance it needs to address its capacity and planning challenges."
Date: July 24, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Defense Infrastructure: Basing Uncertainties Necessitate Reevaluation of U.S. Construction Plans in South Korea

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S.-South Korean Land Partnership Plan (LPP), signed in March 2002, was designed to consolidate U.S. installations, improve combat readiness, enhance public safety, and strengthen the U.S.-South Korean alliance by addressing some of the causes of periodic tension associated with the U.S. presence in South Korea. The Senate report on military construction appropriations for fiscal year 2003 directed GAO to review the LPP. GAO adjusted its review to also address the effect of ongoing reassessments of U.S. overseas presence upon the LPP and other infrastructure needs. In this report, GAO assessed (1) the scope of the LPP, (2) the implications on the LPP and other construction projects of proposals to change basing in South Korea, and (3) implementation challenges associated with the LPP that could affect future U.S. military construction projects in South Korea."
Date: July 15, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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